Merchant & Mills 101 Trouser with an Elasticated Waistband

I first made the Merchant and Mills 101 Trousers last summer, and since then have made both the tapered and the wider leg versions. In today’s post I talk about the wider leg version, which I added an enclosed elasticated waistband to, rather than the drawstring closure featured in the pattern.

These trousers are a wardrobe hero for me, the garment that I didn’t know how much I needed them, until I made them. The 101 trouser pattern by Merchant & Mills includes variations for a cropped tapered leg, fuller straight leg, or a pair of shorts. Up to now I have made two pairs of the cropped tapered leg variation, and this is my first pair using the wider leg version.

The pattern features an enclosed drawstring waistband, which whilst I like, I found that I yearned for the simplicity of a straight forward encased elastic waistband. I found that on my drawstring pairs, the weight of the fabric caused the waistband to drop slightly when worn, so that it wasn’t sitting on my natural waist. An elasticated waistband just feels more secure, and also – trips to powder room are much swifter!

So for this version, I decided to simply insert elastic where I would have used the drawstring, and skipped sewing the buttonholes in the waistband. I didn’t do a toile, so I had no idea how wide legged this version would be, but I think the width is perfect! They are just so easy to wear, and I definitely love them as much as my cropped, tapered leg pairs. One thing I did notice – the length of the legs is super long on this version. I think I ended up taking around 4 inches (or more, I can’t quite remember) from the hem. Something to keep in mind, particularly if you are short of fabric and are looking to squish in the pattern pieces as tightly as possible.

The day I made these, I was on a bit of a high-energy sewing kick (doesn’t happen often), as I had them finished in a mere few hours – I actually surprised myself!

I added belt carriers to the waistband in case I want to wear a belt with these, but I think they also look fine without. I already have some fabric ready to make my next pair – but the problem is – I can’t decide which version to make! The tapered or the wide leg version!? I genuinely love both variations, and I know I will be making more in the future.


Until next time dears!


5 thoughts on “Merchant & Mills 101 Trouser with an Elasticated Waistband

  1. sogosew says:

    I love your style! You’ve really made these trousers your own with that lovely fresh-coloured fabric and your styling. They would make cute cropped trousers too 🙂

  2. Pam says:

    Just found your site. Thank you for all the info on this pattern. I am not an experienced sewer so I appreciate the tips. I did notice there is no false fly on your trousers. Is there a trick to not including it. I just ordered the pattern today so I have not seen it in person. Also, can I eliminate the pockets?

    Thank you.

  3. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Pam, I think I did include the false fly, but the thread I used matches the fabric so closely it can barely be seen! The false fly is stitched to the inside of the trousers, so only a line of stitching shows on the outside. This would be easy to omit, simply sew the centre fronts together without the false fly section. The pockets can also be eliminated, just stitch the trouser side seams together using the seam allowance instructed and omit the pocket pieces. It’s a great pattern, really versatile and a joy to sew. I hope you enjoy it!

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